Spliting the party

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Spliting the party

Post by Zeiss on Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:03 am

This post is for Rory and Higaide. Arch asked me on the stream to write this. Smile

So Javan wants to bail from the Exchange and do awesome stuff as an adventurer. Specifically, he wants to go against the Vyeotians. So Arch is willing to GM another campaign and do just that. If the two of you want to go with him, you can. Me and Kolson would stay behind to play the NPCs of this world and back your efforts when possible.

How's that sound for you?
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by Essoje on Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:15 am

So just to make sure that I'm not being a little baby about it anymore than I should, I just feel a good amount of how I've been playing the game lately has been taking a toll on me, the player, because Javan was never made with being evil and many of the actions I made him do were outright evil just so I could keep up with Exchange's agenda, and any character you've played for as long as I did Javan will make you care about what he does.

Anyways, so Arch asked in the stream, "What do you want?" repeatedly, enough for me to question if he wasn't some kind of evil alien. But then I answered, after discussing it a bit with people, "Javan should go after the Veyotians AND stop doing evil stuff.". And he said, "It's going to be a bit hard on me, but you know what? Sure."

And that brings us to now. So what do you two think?
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by Zeiss on Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:22 am

I'm actually the one who suggested the idea to go with Javan. I know you haven't liked the "Run an Empire" game as much as me and Kolson did.

I thought you would like this idea of an adventure. So go for it if you want to.
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by Essoje on Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:30 am

Again, I don't have a problem with it being an "Run an Empire" right now. But to keep doing it, evil things must be done and not only I'm not that into it, I need to force by good character to do things even I am not comfortable with, which is my main point.
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by Archengeia on Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:30 am


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Re: Spliting the party

Post by Zeiss on Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:31 am

I'm guessing that's a Babylon 5 reference? And that guy is evil? Cool
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by Essoje on Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:33 am

He's the "What do you want?" guy in B5, yeah. And yes, he's evil and dreamy and the reason why a lot of things start to go boom and that's why I love/hate the guy.
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by Kolson on Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:18 am

Evil? What do you mean? I thought we were solidly neutral personally.

Anyway, I think its a great idea and I'll be happy to help you do whatever you want Essoje. Even if Zeiss and I are the NPC benefactors in the shadows.
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by K on Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:04 am

I'm afraid to speak my mind on this, since i get the feeling it might tip the scales somewhat.

I felt i was getting on my feet a bit more now with this investigation thing, but if Javan goes, well... it wouldn't do to let him go alone, now would it. So yeah, if the party splits, i'd rather be on the one that goes out and bites stuff, rather than the one that stays behind and manages stuff.

If the party splits.
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by Rory on Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:08 am

I would love to go on an adventure and wreck the Vyeotians. In addition, I've been kinda forgetting that Thog exists, and that's no good. For a long time, I've been looking forward to seeing my bond with Thog manifest, and so far it's felt one-sided. I wonder if they know about him. If they do, we're way less safe than I thought. I wish Zeiss and Kolson could come, but sometimes the characters won't let us players all go together. If it would help to shoulder the math, I know Arch has been doing all of the rolls and skill work behind the curtain, which might be making us complacent. I wonder if we will get to meet Wizzle again. And those people he's helping, whatever their names are.

We all need to be able to have fun together when we can, so you decide if the empire as a minigame is necessary. I can see it being dumbed down a bit to compensate for a party split.
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by Rory on Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:10 am

I saw my wikia page. Disposition: "violent", ha. I love it. I should try my hand at finding or making a new avatar for him.
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by Zeiss on Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:02 am

Well, before you go on your little adventure, it would be awesome if you helped me repel the Aristocrats back in the Royal District. That would also be an fun fight to have. Smile
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by K on Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:00 pm

Did someone say fight?
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by Zeiss on Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:04 pm

Yeah. Against the Aristocrats' mercenaries. In the Royal District. We could even let Thog have fun too, after we warn the nationalists that he's on our side.
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by Essoje on Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:32 pm

Ah yes, the Aristocrats that totally didn't try to take over power for themselves after Exchange members tried to sell the idea to them, which in turn will make Exchange members jump at them for doing it too soon... Yeah, I'm going to think on it because the choice between whenever to fight or not here could lead to Javan leaving on either bad or good terms.

As I see it, Javan has been out of the loop for a while now, so he's not aware on why the Aristocrats did what they did. If he goes and fight them then find it all out later, he's going to be pissed, and although he's not going to jump Zeiss it's going to give my character the trigger I needed for switching tracks AND a chance to mature, maybe even making for good story. Not fighting makes for a more civilized departure after he finds out, but no drama and little growth.

Decisions, decisions...
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by Zeiss on Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:40 pm

Or you could fight with us and not find out how this all started *evil smile*

But seriously, just choose whatever you think is best. We still have two weeks to go through before we're caught up with the other party too (Week 6 is the last one).
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by Essoje on Sun Jul 19, 2015 4:01 pm

I wrote that I'm torn about it because, frankly, I really am. So I'd like some opinions and views on it so I can make up my mind.

I mean, one choice brings impact to the whole thing while really lowering the chances of later reconciliation, while the other is a less interesting way to go about it but does not burn bridges along the way. And both are important to me for different reasons.

so uh... I hate making these kinds of choices, it's like I'm playing Mass Effect 2 all over again and it's Zaeed's loyalty mission time. You know what I'm talking about.
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by Rory on Sun Jul 19, 2015 4:31 pm

I'm thinking stick with the drama and growth, that's what a good story's about. I don't know if we've been getting closer to this fight or what we've been learning, but I've been taking my actions, reading about what I've accomplished, reading what's related to me taking my next actions, and just zoning out the rest. So I'm sorry for complaining about not getting to see this actual conflict happen and getting to be a part of it, when it's actually been coming up. I also forgot about the internal affairs issue, and I will give advice and make myself available for that.
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by Kolson on Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:43 pm

Rory wrote:We all need to be able to have fun together when we can, so you decide if the empire as a minigame is necessary. I can see it being dumbed down a bit to compensate for a party split.

That's just it Rory, its not a minigame to me. That is the game. Which is why I think we should split. I'll help you guys out when I can, but my days of itinerant adventuring in Primus are over. Not that I won't throw down when necessary. It's just not going to be under normal adventuring terms.

Essoje wrote:I wrote that I'm torn about it because, frankly, I really am. So I'd like some opinions and views on it so I can make up my mind.

I mean, one choice brings impact to the whole thing while really lowering the chances of later reconciliation, while the other is a less interesting way to go about it but does not burn bridges along the way. And both are important to me for different reasons.

so uh... I hate making these kinds of choices, it's like I'm playing Mass Effect 2 all over again and it's Zaeed's loyalty mission time. You know what I'm talking about.

Well, whatever you decide, I hope we get an interesting story from it. Just let us know if you are still interested in support or not and if you'd prefer it to be covert or whatever. We'll figure it out.

@Essoje, K, and Rory If this separate game becomes a thing that means all of you are going to have to step up. You are going to have take a real stock of your personal and team's strengths and weaknesses and come up with plans for mitigating and maximizing them. You aren't going to have Zeiss or Kolson around anymore, which leaves you without your faces (Guys good at talking and a problem Javan has been running into in his recent endeavors), the Exchange's resources, a dedicated healer (not that Kolson was anything but a secondary one anyway), Kolson's magical support in general (Weaving and such), or the intangibles like my leadership.

I'll tell you right now, out of character, that the three of you have three very different approaches to the game, and unless you can find a working balance your party will not function and the three of you will end up frustrated and unhappy. If you want my help with this you got it but you guys will need to seriously hash this out before you get started or you'll find you'll have the same problems with the game you do right now.


Last edited by Kolson Wezrae on Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by Essoje on Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:45 am

For one, Javan was already taking a dip on green mage for utility and awesome. Also, his next feat point is going to be Leadership, hopefully getting a cohort (aiming for a healer) and I serious intend to max diplomacy asap being the face of the White Scarves and all. This should ease up on some gameplay-side of things.

And about 'approaches to the game' thing, I'm lacking context, so it would be nice to have some examples. So yes, I'd like the help on that.
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by Kolson on Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:02 am

That's great Essoje. That's a big relief all on its own that you have a plan for that. And sure, I can give you guys some pointers. Just know that I probably won't be able to give specific examples. That's not how I work. Each experience I have with you is like a brush stroke in the painting that is my impression of you--it all gets lost in the bigger picture. Capiche?

Note: I'm putting these in spoiler tags because it looks better than massive paragraphs taking up most of the page. Anyone and everyone is free to read these.

I also wish such disclaimers weren't necessary but experience has unfortunately taught me otherwise. So here we go.

Disclaimer:
The following information is my opinion alone and is made up of things I noticed playing the game with you guys and in my time as leader. It isn't meant as an indictment or criticism of anyone or anyone's characters, it's meant to be information you guys can use to make your adventuring party work better. If I do end up hurting feelings, I'm sorry in advance. That was never my intention. I just want to give you guys the tools you need to succeed and being 100% honest about this is the best way I can think of to do that.

I'll start with some player psychology.

Essoje:
Essoje you are a cool cat who likes to help people and you are one of the funniest guys I've had the pleasure of playing with. But two things really stand out about you to me.

1. Your need to feel in control is a real wildcard for you--right now this quality isn't a reliable ally and is just as often a weakness as it is a desirable strength. When you get frustrated, you have a tendency to walk away or distance yourself from whatever is causing that frustration, sometimes with jokes or insults, and it's my honest hope that being leader of your own group will give you the experience you need to turn this quality into a real strength. Trust yourself, trust your party members, and ask for help whenever you need it.

2. You are prone to despair, something that clouds your judgement when it comes to knowing when to take a risk, when to double down, and when to run away. Remember man, there is only victory or death. There is no other outcome for a warrior that has people counting on him.

And this doesn't mean you have to kill everybody and lie and all that. It means that if you can't live with something it's your responsibility to go out and create your own alternatives, whether that is opening up your own prison so you can take prisoners, making a deal with a bad but honorable man so you can keep your charges fed, or reprogramming your particular Kobayashi Maru so you can actually win, even if it's still at great cost.

K:
K, you've come a long way from your starting days. You use to be fairly neurotic when it came to making decisions, endlessly arguing with yourself and others instead of making a choice.

As you grew to trust us and gained more experience, I've noticed this tendency slowly fade into the background. Sure you still second guess yourself at times, you always will, but you've turned into a reliable player who is good at carrying out sensible orders within specific parameters.

The two things about you that you and others need to keep in mind are:

1. While you won't hesitate to do what is right, you are not typically comfortable in a leadership role and tend to flounder when left to your own devices for too long. If you ever feel like you are floundering, you either need to start asking questions or ask for help. It's OK if you don't have all the answers. Hell, I know I don't.

That said, you have what it takes to be a quality Sergeant, looking out for your immediate charges but not worrying about the bigger picture beyond "Are our goals right and good?"

On a side note, if you ever find yourself joining a game where you just want to take it easy and play something you know well, this quality about you is something I'd make essential to your character. It's a strong foundation to build a character around, and if you do it enough, you'll find going back to it like meeting an old friend or like slipping into an old pair of super comfortable jeans. Veteran players usually have 3 or 4 characters like this kicking around in their heads and building up this stable of go-to characters will be valuable if you want to continue with your tabletop career.

2. You have the real and palpable need to respect whoever it is that would lead you, both the GM and whoever is the leader of your group in whatever game you are playing. Being aware of this and being able to effectively communicate that need to your fellow players is something you need to work on.

I know conflict makes you really uncomfortable and that hurting people's feelings is the last thing you want to do, but your own happiness is important too and sometimes you have to take that risk to bring about the greater good.

Rory the Player:
Rory, you are the consummate tough guy and one of the best roleplayers I've ever seen. Your ideas don't always workout the way you want, but I've never seen you beat yourself up over it or get discouraged for any real length of time. I admire that about you.

The three essential qualities you and others need to keep in mind are:

1. You need to kickass. Whether it's in a drinking contest or on the battlefield, you need to knock heads and regulate. You aren't just here to roleplay, you are here to kick evil's door in, drag it out into the light, and beat it mercilessly about the head and neck until it cries uncle. Butt kicking for goodness indeed.

2. You aren't always good at telling people what you want or what you need from them, and I say this fully recognizing that your inexperience is at the heart of a lot of this. I think you have a list of goals and wants in mind for your characters and I think everyone would benefit from you putting those out there into the open. That way, you guys can plan for pursuing them directly and you can get that sense of ownership over the game that you crave.

You want to save humanity? Say so.
You want your next adventure to have a tent pole action scene for the finale? Say so.
You want to be the hero? Well you see the pattern I'm sure. Now make it happen. This goes for you too Arch.

3. Your natural toughness can also make it difficult to RP vulnerability, where the thread of the conversation is carried by someone else, even if it is ultimately about your character. I don't really have any advice for you in this regard since you have your own way of doing things and will therefore have to figure it out on your own but I will say, telling people what you want out of a scene can go a long way towards making everyone happy.

And we'll end talking about your guy's characters.

Out of the three of you I think Javan has the best defined character. From a writing perspective, he has an ultimate goal (Defeat the Veyotians), a Character Goal (the White Scarves and their work as well as finding a cure to his elemental affliction), and a personal goal (Unknown. High five all the rulers in the game maybe?).

I've never been entirely sure what Higaide and Rory want, beyond a few personal goals. Hell, when you guys started you barely had any practical ties to the setting at all. So if we are going to continue our little discussion I have to ask all three of you: What is your Ultimate Goal, what are your current Character Goals, and what are some of your Personal Goals.

Definitions:
An Ultimate Goal is something you build a campaign around. For example, Kolson's and Zeiss' is "Defeat the Pinnacle." That's actually the whole point of the Exchange campaign.

A Character Goal is something that is still important but that is a stepping stone along the way to attaining your Ultimate Goal. For example, one of Kolson's right now is "Become Lord of Holtburg."

A Personal Goal is something that is much smaller and involves things that are personally important to the character themselves but that probably don't affect anything in the big picture. These are usually just for fun and they can make for a valuable insight when writing quests for characters. Some Personal Goals for Kolson are "Buy a Souvenir From All of the Elemental Temples" and "Beat a Tusker in a Drinking Contest."
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by Rory on Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:45 am

Alright, I can jam. First, your impression kinda surprised me to the point that it made me laugh, because I never expected these qualities to surface. I kinda always felt that my mental forte would translate to my characters, certainly for Rory - not a leader type, a bit aimless, and not very bright. So, I feel like I've surprised myself by being able to play characters who manage each of those adequately, even if they don't shine in each of them.

me. me, me me...:
1. I loved your word choice, this is what made me laugh. I don't know how many players statistically enjoy playing utility characters or supporting playstyle, but I do make an exception for Vahrran. As much as I want to bring him into an offensive combat role with the Force, I'm actually enjoying this 'mind over matter' style with him, using his(not mine) mental acumen to benefit the party and outsmart the enemy.

2. Alright, we'll address this now, for this campaign at least. At first, I wanted to stop the bad guys, and that was it. But when Fierneceal got involved, it intrigued me that instead I should let her be the star. She was more tied to the plot involving the man we were set on stopping than all of us combined, and being a human, and being what she was on Vesayen, it only made sense that Rory would see this as an opportunity to help her cross the finish line first and do everything he could to help her out, but I still wanted to be pretty damn heroic in my involvement, and/or possibly in my death. Now she's gone, but she's been his inspiration and a wake-up call. He believes he's done all he can for humanity, but he can still stop what the Vyeotians have planned and maybe put an end to the Scions' plotting, for her sake.

3. I think I see what you mean. If it helps, the huge drama for Rory's drinking was supposed to be a fear of dying. The situation, the possible takeover in Holtburg, seemed so small and stupid to him compared to the Exchange's ultimate goal, and as much as he liked the idea of helping make things better for people there, he didn't want that to be his death. What we have in the thread for that is a little botched by comparison, although our enemies are the Aristocrats and we still have some sort of conflict on our hands, so we could probably still use that in the thread. He believes that if he has to die for any current issue, it should be for something worthwhile. We could make that a weakness, it seems pretty clear that he doesn't feel like he matters or has much of worth. I want to stress that this isn't how I feel. Maybe sometimes, but I make a habit of reminding myself that what I have a role to play that I fit very well, and that's certainly true for for my presence in the Exchange. This is really how Rory feels. I didn't really think about how his want to do something that matters might be inverted on his own self-worth, but we can take that and run with it.

Man that's heavy.

Now I think I'm starting to understand why being a human character was such a problem when we started, but thankfully Rory at least has some tie to the setting, it's true. I'll come up with some goals right now so we can get this sorted before we continue.

goals:
ultimate goals
1 stop the Vyeotians
2 conclude the Scions issue Gaerlan is part of

character goals
1 secure(if I haven't) a future for humanity on Dereth(and his people/family)
2 start over with his tribe, but make it a proper civilized community that expands when necessary and is open to outsiders, do it right this time
3 give Thog his own body, become best buds, invite him to become guardian of said community(neither here nor there, but something the player will keep in mind), and set him free as a non-player
4 see bottom paragraph

personal goals
1 seamless conscious transformation into Thog, time in the spotlight on a weretusker rampage!
2 Ride a tusker into glorious battle!
3 defeat a wild tusker(probably wait a few levels before trying that)
4 visit every temple and take it's trial

^^one all of us would like to do because the trials are so intriguing. Now which one of us wants to be the one who succeeds at all of them? This could mean taking any given trial more than once to succeed.

There is one character goal that's been itching at Rory for a while now. Remember when we spoke to that one Olthoi about what the Scions were trying to find a solution to? That's a Morrowind-level hint. It rubbed the eeriness spot in my mind and intrigued me in just the right way when he decided to shut up and scurry off, and it only made me want to investigate more, maybe find more ruins or visit other lassels to poke and prod at things until I find out. It's the box the GM tells you not to open because he wants you to open it, and I wanna, I wanna see what's inside!
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by Archengeia on Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:00 am

Just as an aside, I like the implication that Kolson (and hopefully Zeiss) are enjoying the 'running the Exchange' game... I've actually been putting a lot of myself into making it, trying to reach a balance between too much and not enough detail, etc. Of course if I'm misunderstanding I feel like a doofus...

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Re: Spliting the party

Post by Zeiss on Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:42 am

Archengeia wrote:Just as an aside, I like the implication that Kolson (and hopefully Zeiss) are enjoying the 'running the Exchange' game... I've actually been putting a lot of myself into making it, trying to reach a balance between too much and not enough detail, etc.  Of course if I'm misunderstanding I feel like a doofus...

Are you kidding? I love the 'running the Exchange' game, and I know Kolson does too. We get to affect the setting on a larger scale than what we did before (it feels like it anyway) and we become more powerful at the same time. I certainly enjoy seeing the effects of my actions when criminals and other NPCs come consult me because they think I'm important enough to be considered in their plans, even if I'm still a "small" player on the political field. Okay, I didn't intend to push the Aristocrats into armed rebellion and I would have certainly tried to prevent that if I knew it would happen, but hey, now we can use the chaos to raise above our stations! Me and Kolson that is.

But we know the other players don't like this game as much as we do, so if they have the possibility to go on an adventure instead, they should do so.
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Re: Spliting the party

Post by K on Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:26 pm

See, Arch? Kolson knows i'm neurotic and disagree with myself all the time (and i still think First Contact is overrated).


About stepping up, i don't doubt either Javan's or Rory's ability to be decisive; and i only second guess myself until the time comes to make a call.

Now, i do make it a point to always try to make as informed a decision as possible, and i do have trouble separating the wheat from the chaff when considering facts, leading me to sometimes overcomplicate matters, but considering how badly we've been blindsided in the past by variables we hadn't even considered, i don't think it's entirely unfounded.

As for my strengths, i'll lay them out right now - in the absence of Kolson's and Zeiss' diplomatic presence, i'll fill that spot. My stat is decent enough, and i'm better spoken at negotiating with people than at sorting out my internal madness - and i've proven that more than once. My Stealth is high enough and i have the highest awareness and run speed in the party, so i can easily double as a scout. Decent healing stat also, i just need them potions.

I'm not the hardest hitter, which is unfortunate, but i'm pretty versatile if you need someone subdued, since i take no penalty for non-lethal damage.


As for long term goals, Higade wants to find a way to resist Scion control, preferably one he can share. But quite honestly, not everyone on this Earth has a clearly defined purpose in life, and that's a natural thing too. The urgency and weight of the current situation in Dereth would make most people with the will and agency and sheer stupidity to try and do something about it to get off their butts and get to work, and Higaide has at least the third trait.
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Elemental Affinity: Air
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Re: Spliting the party

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